Cooking the books on virginity.

Cooking the books on virginity.

A mathematician's guide to the news.
July 7 2005 6:48 AM

Sex and Significance

How the Heritage Foundation cooked the books on virginity.

(Continued from Page 1)

But Brückner and Bearman aren't campaigning. They don't try, for example, to hide the finding that virginity pledges delay and decrease nonmarital intercourse; they even wrote a long paper in 2000 on the contexts in which pledges are most effective. They're not sneering libertines lobbing condoms over the walls of your daughter's virtue; they're scientists, doing their jobs. Rector and Johnson are spinners, doing theirs. If you want to study a significant difference, look no further.

Jordan Ellenberg is a professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin and the author of How Not to Be Wrong. He blogs at Quomodocumque.

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